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The Devil Wears Prada
Reviewer: Connie Quinn
Directed by: David Frankel
Cast: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt

The pace of the film, the soundtrack, the to-die-for clothes and performances of all the actors is outstanding. Meryl Streep as the terrifying demonically career oriented Miranda Priestly is not overdone. She is the impatient and cynical editor of the fashion magazine "Runway". Anne Hathaway who plays Andrea Sachs (Andi), is a young aspiring journalist who takes a job working as Miranda's assistant. Stanley Tucci (Nigel) as the dry, humorous and witty second in command and Emily is played by Emily Blount as the bitchy put-upon assistant who is outwardly snobby and an inwardly insecure British girl who has just been promoted to first assistant. Simon Baker plays Christian Thompson, the seductive and high profile jet set journalist. Nate (Adrian Grenier) as Andi's college boyfriend allows Andrea to see herself as others see her and what kind of person she is gradually becoming.

At the beginning of the movie, the grand entrance by Miranda is superb with her haughty but elegant manner and immediately over demanding of her employees. Despite misgivings, Miranda hires Andrea after she is won over by Andi's sincere work ethic. As second assistant, Andi manages to pull off miracle after miracle to make things happen for Miranda. Any mishaps or delays meet with intense ego shattering criticism from Miranda and other employees. Their attacks do more to teach Andi than they do to defeat her. She gradually understands how the industry works and adapts herself accordingly to everyone's surprise. She wears the correct high fashion clothing and starts earning the respect of her co-workers and Miranda. She later finds herself attracted to Christian Thompson.

Emily has worked her tail off to get where she is and thinks it's about to pay off with a trip to Paris. But through a series of unexpected events, it is Andi who goes to the spring Paris fashion show with Miranda instead of Emily, although it is Emily's dream to go to Paris. Andi struggles to maintain her personal integrity regarding the choice she has made to get ahead in her career by going to Paris. It is in Paris where Andi comes to terms with her own values and resolves some personal struggles about her job, her personal life and the journalism dream.

The tensions, dramas and back-stabbing are clearly evident in the movie. Trying to separate personal life and professional life is very difficult. Favoring work over family and friends is the price of success.

This is a fabulous film which will make you laugh and smile. The script is brilliantly adapted from Lauren Weisberger's novel.

star starstarstar

The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada
Directed by:
David Frankel
Cast: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt

Written by:
Ricardo Barberini

December 27, 2006

The Fashion world has always been a cut-throat environment.  The competition is tough but the markups are astronomical and success could bring millions of dollars and worldwide recognition.  To make a name for yourself in that business you have to be somewhat talented and extremely lucky and of course, ruthless. It does not hurt to watch your back for backstabbers all the time!

Hollywood has always had a certain fascination with the fantasy of rags to riches success stories followed by the sudden realization that the best place is home. This movie has tried to make light of the dog-eat-dog world of the international fashion industry and despite its built-in naiveté, it succeeds to a great extent. 

A young aspiring journalist (Andrea) played by Ann Hathaway from Ohio, where else? Desperate for work and despite being dressed like a country bumpkin and acting like an out-of-towner, she succeeds in landing a job as the second assistant to a bitchy cold hearted pompous editor (Miranda Priestly) played by Meryl Streep of a world class fashion magazine.

Andrea has a simple life with her drinking friends and an ugly unshaven selfish boyfriend (Nate) played by Adrian Grenier.

The effeminate second in command Nigel (Stanley Tucci) takes her under his wings and transforms her into a prissy career girl.  Soon she falls out with her former friends and climbs the ladder of success and even replaces the first assistant Emily for the most important trip to Paris.  In Paris after she sleeps with a womanizing journalist from New York she realizes that she is not cold hearted enough for this job and returns to New York and her boyfriend.  Except the boyfriend is now moving on to another job and is not really interested in her anymore.

This is actually a nice movie despite its clichés and the weak screenplay.  We have seen many movies when a young man or woman catches the eye of the boss because he or she is different from the “Yes” men around boss and rapidly climbs the ladder of success until suddenly he realizes that it was not worth it and goes back to his roots, i.e., his family or his loved ones.  The Man in Gray Flannel Suite (1956) with Gregory Peck and Fredrick March had an almost identical premise except that it was made in the 50’s in a male dominated world so the story line was somewhat different. There have been other similar stories.

The acting by Meryl as Miranda Priestly was OK.  I know many consider her the greatest living actor because she can imitate so many different accents.  She is a good actor but does not have the facial expressions that would catapults an actor to the height of greatness.  Laurence Olivier was such a man and Barbara Stanwyck would have been if she had been given the chance.  She was a better actor and far less pretentious.

Ann Hathaway is another aspiring actor who will be forgotten five years from now. As for Adrian Grenier, perhaps he should take up cooking and forget about acting.  However, Emily Blunt as Emily and Stanley Tucci as Nigel provided very refreshing performances considering that they were both cast to play second fiddle to the main characters, Emily to Ann’s and Stanley to Meryl’s.  Our hat off to both of them.

Having said all that, we consider this to be a nice DVD to rent for the entire family.  It is devoid of sex and violence or four letter words and is still fun.

Go rent it.

We will give it starstar